Monday, June 7, 2010

Teen Driving: Tips for PARENTS

With summer revving its engine, classes ending and summer jobs starting, it’s a great time of year for teenagers.

However, summer is also the deadliest time of the year for teen drivers. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the 101 days from Memorial Day to Labor Day produce a spike in traffic accidents, injuries and deaths among young people.

To help keep teens safe behind the wheel, below are a few quick tips for parents of teen drivers from

Create a driving contract for your teen, and be prepared to stick to it.
A driving contract is a great way to let teens know that driving is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. It also establishes clear expectations about driving for your teen: always wear a seat belt, never get into a vehicle with someone who’s been drinking, etc. A customizable contract template is available at:

Set a clear expectation: no texting or tweeting behind the wheel. This is something you’ll want to include in your driving contract. Research increasingly shows in-car distractions are a leading cause of serious car crashes involving teens. They live in a digital world and texting is a way of life. Your mandate needs to be clear: not while you’re driving! No exceptions. They need to know you’re serious.

Encourage your teen to speak out.
Teens tend to bridle when messages from you only travel down one-way streets (we have all seen eye-rolls complete with “I know, I know!”), so encourage your teen to speak out and take ownership of being a safe driver. He or she can do this by creating a compelling safety related video for the Safety Scholars contest. Top videos win a $5,000 college scholarship and become public service announcements. For more information and to see the past winners go to

For more parent tips or to speak with a teen driving expert, visit
or contact Kyle Butts at


  1. It's true that parents are responsible if they're giving their teen a car. Teaching them the rules and regulations will be a big help not just for maintaining the car, but also for their safety.

  2. Supervised driving sessions with parents can provide teens with opportunities to enhance learning, reinforce proper driving techniques and skills, and receive constructive feedback from the people who care most about their safety and success.



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